Thursday, July 13, 2006

Upstate Nuts

Our first guest-blogger spot by The Beta Blognut was so successful, we've decided to once again pass over the keys - please say hello to Friend of Blognut.

Saratoga Apple
1174 Rt. 29
Schuylerville, NY
(Near Saratoga Springs)

Friends of Blognut travels to Upstate New York to investigate the well-hidden Nut scene so Blognut doesn't have to. Saratoga Springs is a lovely, classy, horseracing town, with all that implies. The restaurant-and-wine-shop-to-resident ratio is ridiculously high, gambling is incredibly important, and (as follows naturally from the former conditions) the living is good. Potato chips, one of the foods most dear to FOB's heart, were invented here. These people know fried carbs, FOB thought.

FOB was wrong. Really wrong. Alarmingly, there seemed to be no doughnut offerings in Saratoga. In fact, she had to leave town to find some non-Pop-Nuts to try. Luckily, a Saratogian FOB remembered Saratoga Apple, a nearby orchard that cooks up apple cider doughnuts. On a drizzly late morning, FOB went to check it out. The short drive out to the orchard goes by the Saratoga battlefield and monument, where the British wisely laid down their arms and surrendered to the feisty, pissed off Americans in the Revolutionary War. History, schmistory.

We knew we were in good eating parts when we saw the oddly imperative sign at the orchard FRUIT OUR OWN PORK. What could it mean? Was that something we were meant to do? No matter: How would the Nuts compare to the cider doughnuts at Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville, VA, some of FOB's favorites? The stakes suddenly seemed high. In the small orchard store were apples, honey, cherries, beeswax products, and a tray of apple cider Nuts resting in a pack under a gauze sheet. We bought half a dozen; fewer would have seemed risky.

These cider nuts are classic in style: smallish (by today's Gluttonous American Size standards), reddish golden-brown, coated with a sandy layer of sugar crystals. The first bite is barely, ever-so-slighly crisp. The sugar layer gives way to the creamy, yellowish cake center. Moist, sweet-but-not-too, cider-y, essential, pretty close to perfect. Saratogian FOB lets out a little cry/yelp of pleasure, pacing the room to try to contain himself. The only thing they lacked that Carter Mountain's Nuts (sometimes) have is warmth. These had been cooked earlier in the morning; had they been hot, they might have given their Southern brethren a run for their money. But a cool doughnut has its own pleasures. They were worth the trip up here.

Doughnut score:
Apple cider donut-9.3


Anonymous said...

hey there....friend of blognut....i know you....yes indeed. i saw you in a tim horton's in ottawa, canada back in 1965. you were eating a maple dip with a black coffee. i remember that well...say..when are you guys going to do a piece on tim's anyway?....much love_hc

theblognut said...

Check it hc:

hc said...

well i'll be damned......i didn't know you guys were an international outfit already.....nice work....

applesuptohere said...

hey...come back to Saratoga Apple during apple season (late August to early November) and I'll blister ya with a HOT have lines OUT TO THE ROAD for those babies..employee

Anonymous said...

We took my 9- and 3-year-old children to Saratoga Apple today but we left there with no apples and both of my kids confused and in tears. We wanted to purchase the medium sized $12 bag, the perfect amount for our small family, but I was told that in order for all 4 of us to participate in the picking, we would actually have to pay $24 for “entry for 4 people” and twice as many apples. Even worse, I later discovered that the Saratoga Apple website says “no admission.”

As a young family, not only can’t we eat 25 pounds of apples, we also have to look for fun activities that fit into our budget. But how do I explain to my kids that only one of them gets to go because I didn’t bring enough money for all of us? My 9-year-old’s response to the situation was to tell her brother that Saratoga Apple was being “greedy.” Clearly she learned the lesson I was teaching about sticking to your principles and not allowing yourself to be taken advantage of.

It used to be that picking your own fruits and vegetables was a fun and low-cost family activity. We’ve had many wonderful summers picking our own at local farms and have only ever been asked to pay for the fruit we picked. Patronizing local farms is important to us but we’d rather go to a place that appreciates us, rather than one that penalizes me for bringing the whole family.

bambi49 said...

OMG...somebody call "whine" 11...Saratoga Apple charges $6 per person ( children 3 and under FREE) which includes a 1/2 peck bag, your choice of the variety of apple, and a wagon ride on the weekends...hardly a "rip off" probably spend more than that taking your kids to the movies or getting your nails done...get over it...

Anonymous said...

The best donuts I ever had were in York PA. at Maples Donuts. They have endless variety and seasonal flavors as well. Each one weighs as much as a soft ball. They are amazing!